New Hobbies To Pick Up While Sheltering In Place

Sometimes being at home all the time might make us feel busier than ever (Deep clean all the things! Organize our closets! Tag and sort all our digital photos!). Yet if you have some downtime, and want to still feel productive while we are self-isolated, there’s never been a better time to try a new hobby or learn a new skill. There are plenty of new hobbies to pick up while sheltering in place.

Need some inspiration? We’ve got some ideas for you…

Sheltering In Place: New Hobbies To Pick Up

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Need something to do with your hands while watching endless amounts of Netflix and Hulu? Might be time to take up knitting! Craft stores still offer delivery and curbside pickup if you want to get started, and YouTube or All Free Knitting will help you learn. Lauren loves We Are Knitters which will deliver everything you need (plus instructions) in a kit for every level.


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Learning to crochet is another good option to keep busy while you’re staying at home with the company of your favorite streaming services. If you are an absolute beginner, you can start with tutorials like this one and pick up a beginner kit like this one via Amazon.

You might be wondering, “So what’s the difference between knitting and crochet?” Knitting uses two needles that are constantly in motion that involves lining up loops down the length of your needles and passing them in between. Crochet uses a single hook with only one active loop at a given time. Whichever one you prefer is your choice or maybe try them both and see!

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Cross Stitch

It’s not just for old ladies anymore! There’s a whole world of subversive cross stitchers out there. Just check out this feminist cross stitch book for just a few examples! You don’t need to even really know how to sew to cross stitch (just a little patience and the ability count stitches) and it is easy enough to order a kit or two online to see if you like it.

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Visible Mending

Visible mending has been a trend for a while now (just check out the amazing Reddit community) but this New York Times article sums it up. Based on the Japanese art of Sashiko, visible mending is becoming trendy and it can be a good way to not only refresh some beloved pieces while we’re stuck in quarantine, but to learn a new hobby or art that you will use forever.

Not sure about mending your own pieces? Try your partner’s or your kid’s stuff if you think they won’t care, or go for towels, sheets, pillows, or blankets that people won’t likely see – at least for a while.

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You might be a totally novice cook who’s been thrown in the kitchen thanks to the shelter-in-place orders or a more experienced cook, but we guarantee you there are amazing chefs doing free tutorials and cooking classes online right now. Udemy has a ton of free cooking class options, but really all you have to do is search your favorite cuisine + cooking class or check out what your favorite chefs or even favorite local restaurants are offering via YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram Live.

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Martial Arts

There are so many online martial arts classes and tutorials on YouTube, and this is the kind of thing that can be a good workout, it can help to center you, and even be something you can do with the kids or your partner or both. Granted, nothing will be the same as learning in a class in real life. But getting some of the basics of Karate or Taekwondo or similar down via YouTube is something you can do while we’re on lockdown. Here are some options via Vidooly to help you get started.

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Learn A Language

Whether you want to brush up on a language you already know or learn something completely new, falling down the rabbit hole of learning a new language can be a good way to escape the real world for a bit. Duolingo is an easy way to get started, or go further and invest in Rosetta Stone or spend time with the Babbel app.

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Learn How To Code

Now here’s a skill that will translate to the real world! If you are the slightest bit mathematically inclined or even if you’re not, coding can be more compelling and creative than you think. Plus if you’re reading this, you already have all the tools you need to get started.

Here are 76 places to learn to code for free, but if you are not sure which language you want to start with, Python, Java, C/C++, PHP, and Swift might be good places to start and you can use those to build on in the future. If you have kids at home, Apple’s Swift might be a good choice because you can learn it alongside your kids while sheltering in place. There are lots of classes and tutorials online (and real life classes once we can go back into the stores).

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Sure, you may only be taking pictures of your home, family, pets, and maybe the backyard or patio. But you can still learn more about photography and improve your skills for the future. If you already have a nice DSLR or similar camera, you can search for courses for your specific type of camera; there are also plenty of options for smartphone photography as well.

With so many talented photographers needing to change things up right now, there are more options than ever for learning how to capture the best possible images – check out Udemy’s master classes to get started or see if any of your favorite local photographers are offering free or low-cost classes online.

 Are you trying to learn anything new, starting or continuing a fun hobby, or trying to master a skill while sheltering in place? We want to know!

–Jacqueline Zenn

You may like to read more of Jacqueline’s Shelter In Place posts like How To Optimize Working From Home Right Now and What To Wear When You Are Working From Home.

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4 thoughts on “New Hobbies To Pick Up While Sheltering In Place”

  1. I’m not doing well with trying to concentrate right now, but I do have a cross-stitch piece on the go that I hope to finish. I don’t sew, but cross-stitch is more like a puzzle to me.


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